Written by David Vogel Wednesday, 16 January 2008 16:31I think I’m supposed to die now. It would make sense, now that my life is complete.
I live with the understanding that we’re all put on this earth to accomplish a number of certain tasks, most of them probably not high on our lists, and then when we have completed these duties, we will kick the bucket.
I’m keeping an eye out for my bucket, because I think my assignments of less-than-desirable tasks have all been accomplished.
A long time ago I made a sort of pact with myself that there were two types of jobs that I would never do. One of them was wait tables. The other one was clean toilets.
I screwed up the first part of that contract when I took a job about a year and a half ago at the late Country Lakes Cafe in Marion as a waiter. In all honesty, it wasn’t a bad job, but it required me to be perky, even with people whose sole purpose in life is to be a grouch.
I can imagine the conversation they must have had with their spouse before they left their home for the evening: “OK, let’s go out to eat and have such a bad attitude that if our steaks aren’t cooked with just a thin strip of pink inside, and the waiter doesn’t get our drinks perfectly memorized so he has to ask what they were when he gets us refills, and we don’t find one tiny speck of dishwasher scum on our fork, then we’re going to leave our waiter two quarters, four dimes, a nickel and seven pennies as his tip.”
And then as they walked out the door, they probably added, “Then we’re going to make him take a special trip back to the kitchen to get us a to-go box for our leftovers, and then leave it there on the table when we leave.”
But overall people were generally in a good mood, and left more than $1.02 for the tip.
Actually, now that I think about it, I got a garden-fresh cherry tomato once. But that’s another story.
Despite having to serve crabby costumers who complained about the restaurant being too hot and then ordering coffee, the job was pretty good. At least my boss was friendly.
Hey, it was better than cleaning toilets.
And I would know, because now I’m cleaning toilets.
Recently, I fell into a job as sort of weekly custodian at Rod’s Tire and Service. It’s not bad; I just have to go in and clean the offices and waiting area once a week.
The problem with cleaning at a place that services vehicles is that—and I’m going to add for the sake of my employers that, because I am also dating their daughter, I am not complaining—an amazing amount of dirt builds up over the course of seven days.
After I cleaned the first time, I distinctly remember the wooden shelves actually had some shine. But all it took the next time was one swipe for the rag to be completely black.
The men’s restrooms aren’t any better.
But getting back to my original point, what worries me is that now that I have done everything I vowed never to do, my time is limited. And in all honesty, I don’t really want to die yet.
So this is my plan: I have to come up with some more things that I don’t want to do. That way, I can buy myself more time.
First, I don’t want to have to clean out the inside of my car. However, this one isn’t going to keep me on earth for much longer because I can hardly stand the mess. Over the last several months, I have accumulated several stacks of paper about colleges and scholarships, plastic spoons that are still in their wrappers, napkins and empty pop cans.
This also has to do more with me being lazy than not wanting to die.
Second, I don’t want to have to decide on a college major. This is part of the reason I have college information on the floor in my back seat where I can’t see it.
My feeling right now is, I still have a semester of high school left to decide to take a year or two off from school and just travel the world. Or join the circus.
Finally, and this is the one that should keep me alive for several thousand more years, I don’t want to eat lutefisk.
Lutefisk is a sort of industrial sludge that smells of fish that some people eat around the holidays. If you’ve ever wondered why Sweden isn’t a major leading world power, it’s because they spent their time developing lutefisk instead of building a strong economy, or whatever it takes to become a major leading world power.
So anyway, hopefully now I won’t have to die so soon. That is, assuming cleaning the toilets doesn’t kill me first.
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UFO: Swedes use an average of more toilet paper per person every year (18.5 pounds) than any other European people.
Don’t ask why.